3. Luke Kornet
The Celtics frontcourt shakeup makes Kornet more important. The 7’2 big man averaged 3.8 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 0.7 blocks in 11.7 minutes per game last season. He is behind Kristaps Porzingis and Al Horford in the big man pecking order, but both will miss time. Horford hasn’t played more than 70 games in a season since 2018, and KP has topped that mark just once in his eight years in the league.
Kornet has been a strong rebounder and rim protector in limited minutes, but can he translate that production into a larger role? He averaged 7.0 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 1.2 assists in 17.0 minutes per game back in 2019. The Celtics need more boards and paint protection when he is asked to play that role this season.
Joe Mazzulla will play Al Horford and Kristaps Porzingis together for stretches, which means Luke Kornet will be part of the nightly rotation. It will be a small role with both big men healthy but could expand if the 7’2 big man is making an impact.
Kornet’s contract is not fully guaranteed until Jan. 10. He is in the final year of his deal and making just $2.4 million. If the 28-year-old cannot hang in the rotation, he will be looking for a new home in the summer of 2024 if not sooner.